What does your brand represent?

Who was it that said "If you don't stand for anything you'll fall for everything."?

Whoever it was, they were right.

I have worked with clients big and small who suffer from an intense desire to hedge their bets. Instead of being The One and Only in their category they become one of many. They tow the line - the conventions of their category. In short they waste their money.

The classic symptoms are:

A lack of courage.

If you won't develop a voice of your own then you will be lost in the choir. Quick, name a member of the choir at la Scala. Didn't think you could. But would you be in any doubt when you hear the sound of Callas, Pavarotti or Bono (ok bono isn't an opera singer but he has a talent for popping up everywhere - so La Scala wouldn't be out of the question would it?). There is nothing wrong with being in harmony - but be in harmony with your customers not your competitors. Stick out like a sore thumb. Just stick out. Be famous for something. Not just anything - it will have to be relevant to somebody - hopefully someone who will propagate your ideas by referral.

A lack of focus

Hey just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. If you are a brilliant real estate salesperson don't try to flog your clients a new car as well. If you're a brilliant sprinter as well as a pretty good high jumper - make your mind up. Excellence usually requires some sacrifice. Or put another way you need to focus on the thing that will give you the greatest return. In economics that's called the opportunity cost. Think of it this way - an Olympic silver medal is just a polite way of saying "I lost". Top athletes sacrifice the mundane routines of accountants, lawyers and advertising people for the mundus of training for their sport.

There is no glamour in doing the hard yards in preparation. Often it is lonely and fraught with anxiety. How can you know if your regimen will work out.

You can't.

Sorry. There are no guarantees.

Actually…wait their is one.

Let me slip in a little baseball analogy: If you don't swing for the fence you won't hit a home run.

Babe Ruth was the of the greatest home run hitters in history.

What a lot of people don't understand is that he also had more strike outs than any of his contemporaries.

It is just as important for small brands as it is for global brands. Decide what is is you represent.

Don't stretch your resources.
Don't stretch your credibility.

Pick a target. Go hell for leather to reach it.

(Me included)


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